We were out to catch some fun with our drones. Leeds had a fine drone that was three months old, Russell’s was a month old, and mine had been with me for two years now.
Even though mine was the oldest amongst theirs, I pay much attention to it than any of them, and with the way I maintained and flew it, it looked even neater and newer than theirs that hadn’t even reached a year with them. Yeah, I had been practicing and flying it before they thought of owning theirs, so I was better at flying drone than them. I taught Leeds how to fly when he bought him, and I taught Russell, too.
I had taught a lot of other drone owners how to fly and maintain their drones. Heck, I owned a blog where I teach people how to fly drones, important things to note when buying a drone, spotting a good drone, maintaining drones and fixing your drones at home.
We were whiling away time in the deserted field, racing with our drones—which I always come last on purpose for them not to feel intimidated—when Leeds made a remark that got me thinking.
“The teacher has gone all rusty, you know?” he had said to Russell nudging him on the shoulder. Russell had laughed at the joke, I did, too. I took it for a joke, an expensive one though, but what did it matter? They were my friends, and we were just having fun, nothing else.
“You think he’s lost his magic or his drone had worn out so bad that it doesn’t know how to beat his students again?” It was Russell with his reply to Leeds’ joke.
The joke tugged at my feelings, I winced inwardly and forced a smile. I didn’t like the fact that they were taunting and trolling me on purpose because I was letting them win the series of race.
“C’mon guys, you know with my eyes closed and with my propellers down, I would beat you guys in a drone race.” I shot at them smiling.
Leeds laughed aloud. “Tell me sensei, when last did you win any race that we know of, huh?”
“Last year’s competition, you came second, and who was the first?” Russell quipped.
“I,” Leeds answered with a smirk, his right hand raised, while his left hand clutched the remote control of his drone.
“And who won last year’s contest?” it was Russell again with the naughty question.
“He fucking did!” Leeds gloated. “And you weren’t even close to third, sensei. You finished fifth, and if I could remember, we were five in the competition that year which made you the last.”
All of this got me infuriated. It was true that for the past years now, I hadn’t won any drone competition, and it was on purpose. I was the drone race champion for five years straight before Leeds, and Russell bought their drones and asked me to teach them how to fly. When I felt they were good enough, I told them to register for the annual competition.
Over time, they gained their confidence in the race was pretty good. I became their only competition; I was the only person they couldn’t beat to win the race, and I felt I should do something about it. So, last two years, I decided to allow them to win the race while I came last or second. All the while, they were racing with borrowed drones and after both of them won the competition last year, and last two years respectively, they had money to buy theirs.
“So this is what it has resulted to now, eh?” I asked them feeling betrayed.
“Man, it is what it is,” Leeds said. “You have lost your touch.”
“Maybe he needs a new drone, don’t you think, bro?”
I stood and watched them taunt me further while our drones sat on the floor. I gave it a long thought and decided on what to do.
“If you think you guys got what it takes to beat me, let’s race just this last time, and if any of you beat me, I’d stop racing, for life,” I said to them glaring.
“C’mon, we still need you in the game, just drop it because you are going to lose and you know it,” Russell said.
“And I’m not thinking of leaving the game soon, so?”
“Man, you are rusty; we would beat your ass, easily.”
“Beat me if you can,” I held my word.
“Okay, fine, but we wouldn’t be merciful sensei,” Leeds said and got ready.
I powered my drone and waited for them, they did.
“The first drone to round this field is the winner,” I announced to them.
“Roger,” they chorused and waited.
“On our marks, go!” I shouted, and as expected, they moved before I could even say go.
My drone heeded to my control and pursued theirs in the air. They were pretty, fast indeed my drone was rusty, but I was going to show them who their master was. Leeds’ had gotten to the half of the field and was still blasting. Russell’s was fast tailing him. I was still behind them trying to match their speed.
“C’mon give up already,” I heard Leeds say cheerily.
“I wasn’t born to do that,” I retorted.
“Then you leave us no option,” Russell said and accelerated past Leeds.
Confused at the sudden burst of speed, Leeds gave him a chase. They were rounding the field now. They slowed a bit to make a swift turn.
I took advantage of their braking and accelerated with full speed. My drone tore through the evening air and gained in space with them that immediately they had made their turn, I was square with them. They couldn’t believe it. They were stunned, and in that stunned state, I blasted past them leaving them behind to chase me.
Before they could come off the astonishment that I had just past them, I had reached the finish. I pulled my goggles and nudged them gloating;
“Now who’s the rusty one?”
They were dumbfounded.